It’s 4pm and you don’t know how the hell you’re going to make it through the last stretch of the workday. Do you sneak off to the conference room and take a 20-minute power nap, or do you chug a large mug of coffee?

According to Vox, scientific research has confirmed that drinking coffee and then napping immediately after for 20 minutes will give you more energy than either napping or drinking coffee alone. This, my groggy and out of it friends, is what is commonly referred to as a “coffee nap.”


“It might sound kind of crazy because most people realize caffeine interferes with sleep. But it takes a little while for the caffeine to effect you,” explains the Vox reporter. He says that it takes about 20 minutes for the caffeine to enter your brain; during that time is exactly when you should try to get in some serious ZzZzs.

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(Photo: Instagram/@shnoobs)

But how does the coffee nap work, exactly? A molecule inside your brain called adenosine—which makes you feel tired and out of it—builds up through the day. Caffeine blocks adenosine from doing its thing and slowing you down. Meanwhile, Vox explains, “sleep naturally clears out adenosine from the brain so the caffeine doesn’t even have to compete with adenosine” once it finally reaches your noggin.


According to Vox, studies have found that when people took a 15-minute coffee nap they went on to make fewer errors in a driving simulator than when they only took a nap or only drank coffee.

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(Screenshot via Vox)

Another Japanese study found that people who took coffee naps performed significantly better on a series of memory tests.


A few quick coffee-nap secrets before you test out the powerful technique: Drink your coffee quickly (espresso might work best so you can shoot it), and set an alarm before you fall asleep so that you wake up within 20 minutes. Vox warns that if you nap too long, that can cause sleep inertia or grogginess and all will be lost.

[via Tasting Table, Vox]